By Tyler Aquilina
April 08, 2020 at 04:16 PM EDT
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Frank Carroll/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Thomas L. Miller, a prolific TV producer known for such hits as Full HouseFamily MattersHappy Days, and many more, died Sunday due to complications from heart disease. He was 79.

“Thomas Miller was born to entertain, infused with irrepressible passion and love for bringing joy to others through his life’s work. And what a skill set he possessed. He was at once a thoughtful and tasteful executive, an extremely talented writer, and a highly successful producer whose many hit series will live long in the collective memory of fans around the world," Warner Bros. Television Group, which distributed many of Miller's iconic shows, said in a statement. "Everyone at Warner Bros. Television Group and the Fuller House family will miss him deeply, and we send our love to his longtime partner Bob Boyett and to the Miller family.”

Born August 31, 1940, in Milwaukee, Miller moved to Los Angeles in 1962 to pursue a career in film and television. He got his start working as a dialogue coach for legendary filmmaker Billy Wilder, and the two remained friends until Wilder’s death in 2002. Miller went on to work in TV development at 20th Century Fox, where he co-created the sitcom Nanny and the Professor, and at Paramount, before leaving to become a producer.

In 1969, Miller and former film editor Edward K. Milkis co-founded Miller-Milkis Productions, which developed the hit shows Happy DaysMork & Mindy, and Laverne & Shirley with Garry Marshall. Miller then teamed with Robert L. Boyett, who would become his personal and professional partner for 40 years, to form Miller/Boyett Productions. The production company set up a deal with Lorimar Television (later acquired by Warner Bros.) became the force behind much of ABC's TGIF lineup in the 1990s, with such shows as Full HouseFamily Matters, and Perfect Strangers. Miller and Boyett later returned to produce the Full House reboot Fuller House for Warner Bros. and Netflix.

Miller moved to New York City in 2000 to begin a new career as a theater producer, winning a Tony Award for Best Play for War Horse in 2011. His other Broadway credits include the Tony-nominated TootsieHillary and Clinton, and the upcoming revival of Company. Miller relocated to Connecticut in 2007, where he lived with Boyett (and their four boxer dogs) until his death.

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